Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard

The Fates Will Find Their Way: A NovelTypically I'm pretty sure within a minute or two of closing the covers of a book what I thought about it and why...and typically my opinion doesn't change.  This book was different.  I thought I'd let this book simmer for a couple of days before writing my review, but a couple of days turned into a couple of months, and I'm still not entirely settled in my thoughts about it.

Partly at fault was myself--for coming into the book with expectations.  You know how that goes: you highly anticipate something, making it that much harder for it to live up to your ideals.  In this case, my high hopes were focused on Powell's and their Indiespensable program, since this was my first installment.  I was so excited to have found a program that would pick out and send me new, independent, literary fiction without me having to do a single thing (apart from presenting my credit card number) that I simply couldn't wait to dive in.  Also, the cover art is gorgeous.  If it had been a photo of the back of some girl, my expectations would have been sufficiently lowered.

Apart from expectations lies the simple fact that there were things I really appreciated about this book and things I found rather unimpressive.  I couldn't identify with any of the characters (a group of horny high school boys who didn't mature much as they aged) and thought the premise was a stretch.  What group of boys shares a lifelong obsession--fantasies and all--about a girl that disappeared during high school?

However, I did enjoy the writing.  It was written mostly in 1st person plural ("we") which was a fun change of pace, and had a very loose chronology, weaving the past in with different points in the future--both real and imagined.  The writing style actually reflected the mental state of the guys who were still trying to come to terms with their classmate's disappearance decades later.  This might drive some people crazy, but I thought that it was a lot of fun.

Ultimately, this book left me still excited about future Indiespensable shipments...just a more normal-person-excited-in-moderation type of excitement rather than the escalating fervor I'd reached previously.  It also left me thinking about my own high school experience...in some ways so tame and normal by comparison, in other ways tinged with a similar sadness.  This is a book that I won't forget, and that definitely says something.

Title: The Fates Will Find Their Way
Author: Hannah Pittard
Pages: 256
Published: 2011 Ecco
Read For: my first Indiespensable book!  &  my Published in the Current Year Challenge

6 comments:

  1. I read this book several months ago when my sales rep pressed an ARC into my hot little hands. I actually really, really liked Fates and after meeting the author, I really, really liked Hannah, too. To me, it's not so much that the book is extraordinary so much as it reminds us that often the most haunting phrase in our language is "What if...?" I also really was impressed with the unusual point of view--unlike another recent book The Weird Sisters, which was also a first person plural narrator, Fates pulled it off, I think.

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  2. I agree about the hype. I've heard a lot about this book, so it's high up on my radar, but I'll have to wait some time before I read it, in case I end up getting disappointed.

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  3. I've been sort of looking into the Powells offer. I'll wait to see what you think of the next installment.

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  4. I have definitely been seeing this book around... makes sense since it seems to be recently released (as I see by your button at the bottom letting us know it can be nominated -- LOVE that!).

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  5. As the Crowe, I agree that Fates does a great job with the POV and the "what if" factor. It was a fascinating read for those reasons.

    Ann, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! :)

    Aths, I often do the same thing...wait a while to let my expectations settle down a bit. It was creative and enjoyable, but didn't feel entirely realistic to me. I look forward to seeing what you think when you decide to read it.

    Belle, the biggest drawback is simply the cost. In the 'Fates' shipment I also received an ARC that I really loved, and I should be reading the next installment soon. It does seem to be a great way to get some new, independent, literary fiction.

    Wallace, isn't it interesting to see which books get different types of buzz? I enjoy book-blogger-created-buzz. :)

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